Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Anthony Bento remembered

Another San Diego family is trying to deal with tragic news from Iraq.

They learned this week that their son, brother and husband, a paratrooper, was shot and killed Monday. Cpl. Anthony K. Bento, 23, was on foot patrol when his unit was attacked by insurgents, according to military officials.

"Luckily I was home with my mom when they came to the door," said Nickie Bento, Anthony's sister. "It was just like out of the movies. It was so unreal. All my mom could say was, 'Go away. Go away. Go away.'"

Bento serving with the 82nd Airborne Division, out of Fort Bragg, NC. He joined the service in March 2005. His tour in Iraq was almost over.

"I was sure they had the wrong person," his wife Colleen said. "He had just three weeks left, and there's no way when there were just three weeks left after 13 months that it could have been him."

"Corporal Bento was a paratrooper who had accepted more responsibility early in his life than most people accept before they're 30," said Bento’s platoon leader, 1st Lt. Timothy Ball, in a news release issued by his unit.

"Anthony was so proud of what he was doing. He joined the military knowing that they were at war, knowing that he was going overseas. He was so brave -- so incredibly brave," his sister said. "He is such a hero to us, to the military, to everybody he knew."

His family still can't believe he's gone. His wife said Bento couldn't wait to come home to his son.

"He had so many things he wanted to teach him: taking him fishing and taking him to Disneyland and teaching him to ride a dirt bike," she said. "They look identical. I'm so thankful I have him so that everyday I can see him in my son."

His family said Bento was full of life, had a contagious smile and never met a person he didn't touch. His MySpace page contains entry after entry of tributes from his friends and loved ones.

Bento's awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the Combat Infantryman's Badge and the Parachutist's Badge.

Bento is survived by his wife; their son, Anthony; his sister and his parents, Anthony and Penny Bento. They are all San Diego residents.

From NBC 7/39

Related Link:
Anthony K. Bento dies 'of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using small arms fire'